Huge Gulf funds are considering possible investment opportunities in Turkey, from agriculture to tourism and industry. The funds, including those from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, plan to invest around $8 billion (TL 109.07 billion) in the country this year.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s latest visit to the UAE, hailed as the start of a new period in bilateral relations, has further boosted investment opportunities regarding Turkey.
Pre-agreements for investments to be made in companies operating in sectors such as agriculture, defense and industrial production, technology, petrochemicals, transport and infrastructure, tourism and the health sector, have already been sealed.
While the northwestern provinces of Kocaeli, Bursa, Yalova and Istanbul have come out on top for industrial investments, southern Antalya and the central provinces of Konya and Aksaray are expected to take the major share of agricultural investments.
Investments regarding the tourism industry will mainly focus on the western provinces of Muğla and Izmir, and the provinces of Kocaeli and Izmir will also be highlighted separately with petrochemical investments.
Recalling that Middle East funds have invested $12 billion in the real economy over the past two years, the head of the Middle East economic platform, Erdin Özel, said that they now plan an investment of $8 billion in total for this year.
“Preliminary agreements have been signed for most of these investments. This figure does not include BIST and swap deals,” he said.
Funds from the Gulf include the Qatar Investment Authority’s agricultural investment fund, the Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank Ithmaar Bank, the Saudi financial investment company Sanabil Investments and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), which is the 11th largest national bank in the world. investment fund and has several influential countries in its investment portfolio, including Germany, UK, France, USA, China, Russia, Australia and Turkey.
Other parties interested in Turkey include the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), worth around $650 billion; the world’s third-largest wealth fund, Sama Foreign Holding, affiliated with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency; the Emirates Investment Authority; the UAE-owned International Petroleum Investment Company with a market value of $5 billion; Bahrain-based investment bank Gulf Finance House; the Investment Corporation of Dubai, worth more than $300 billion; and the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Mumtalakat Holding Company.
After deciding to put years of strained relations behind them, Turkey and the UAE have opened the doors to a new phase in bilateral relations marked by deeper economic cooperation after a years-long rift. Erdoğan’s two-day return visit followed a trip by the crown prince to Ankara in late November that marked a significant step towards resolving disputes.
In terms of relations with Saudi Arabia, Erdoğan has repeatedly said that his country wants to improve relations with the country.
Turkey and Qatar, meanwhile, have enjoyed strong relations since Erdoğan came to power. The two countries have strengthened their military and economic ties in recent years.
Last year, Ankara and Doha signed 15 different agreements to boost cooperation.
The agreements were signed when Erdoğan and Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, met in Doha to co-chair the seventh meeting of the Turkey-Qatar Supreme Strategic Committee.
For their part, Ithmaar Bank of Bahrain, Hasad Food and Sanabil Investments of Saudi Arabia are interested in the agricultural sector.
The Qatar Investment Authority, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Sama Foreign Holding will invest a total of $4 billion in companies in the industrial and technology sector.
Gulf fund companies also plan to invest $1.5 billion in companies in the transport sector. The Emirates Investment Authority, the International Petroleum Investment Company and the Gulf Finance House are seeking partnerships in the petrochemical and transport infrastructure technology sectors.
With the aim of investing $500 million in tourism, the Investment Corporation of Dubai, Sanabil Investments and the Mumtalakat Holding Company are negotiating investments in hospitality and health tourism in Izmir and Muğla.
Özel further explained that investments should be made directly in industry and real sectors.
“They will be granted to companies providing services in the sectors of energy, defense industry, petrochemicals and transport infrastructure services, in particular in agriculture and food”, said he declared.
Stating that Turkey has attracted attention – especially with its successful performance in exports and its new economic model, Özel said: “Our country has become the investment base of the world thanks to its strategic location.”
Halit Sönmez, representative of Al-Daar Investments Turkey, said he invested $1.2 billion in real estate, industrial and fintech sectors in six years.
“We have planned an investment of $80 million in green energy this year,” he said.